Bulk Attribute Value Changes

Questions about the use and process of automated placement and any of the manual methods of placing devices in your project.

Bulk Attribute Value Changes

Postby DeanUser » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:46 am

Help! I have completed Automated Placement and polished my device layout off with manual placement. I thought I was all done but I just ran Automated Circuiting and found that there were way too many receptacles per circuit. Looking now, I realize that the Room Library definition I used had the room perimeter receptacle loads set at 100W instead of the 240W I desired (to max out at six receptacles per 15A circuit).

How can I make this change with as little pain as possible?
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Re: Bulk Attribute Value Changes

Postby forumadmin » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:41 pm

You have a few options.


First would be to change the wattage ratings for the room perimeter receptacles in the Room Library and rerun the affected rooms through Automated Placement. The Room Library update should be done regardless so that Automated Placement gives you desirable results on future projects (contact us if you want large numbers of room definitions changed and we'll do it with a script).


If you have deleted, moved, or changed attributes for devices that were placed during Automated Placement, you likely don't want to lose that work...option #2 is best for you. The second option is to use the global attribute editor included in AutoCAD. This tool allows you to change either all instances of an attribute (for all blocks or only for a particular block type) to a certain value OR to find a certain existing attribute value and change it to something else you specify. Lots of options on how to use it, so there is most likely a way to use it for any sort of mass attribute changes you want to do.

Here are the step by step instructions for an example situation where I want to change all LOAD attribute values in a drawing that are currently '100' to instead be '240':

1. From the main menu Choose Modify > Object > Attribute > Global.
2. At the Edit attributes one at a time? [Yes/No] : prompt, enter n.
3. At the Edit only attributes visible on screen? [Yes/No] : prompt, enter y or n, as desired. Answer n to edit invisible attributes, but you must know the attribute text string you want to change because it's invisible. In our example we answer 'n' since the LOAD attribute is invisible.
4. At the next three prompts, you can specify which block, tag, and attribute values you want to work with. If you want to work with all the blocks, press Enter three times. In our example, since we want to affect only the LOAD attribute we can specify it at the 'tag' prompt and press enter to accept the default of '<*>' (i.e. all) at the block and attribute value prompts.
5. If you chose to edit only attributes visible on screen, you are prompted to select attributes. To use a window, enter w (window) or c (crossing) first. Not applicable in our example.
6. At the Enter string to change: prompt, type the text string (any consecutive text) you want to change. For our LOAD changing example, we enter '100' here.
7. At the Enter new string: prompt, type the text string that will replace the old string. For our LOAD changing example, we enter '240' here.

NOTE that this Global Attribute Edit function is what I like to refer to as a 'loaded gun feature'...meaning if you use it correctly it will serve you well BUT if you don't think it through you can burn yourself :) For example, if we also had some small motors in our project with a LOAD rating of 100, we would have just upsized them to 240W along with our receptacles! To prevent this, we could have run the Global Attribute Edit function once for each receptacle block that we wanted to make the correction for and specified the block name in step 4, above. This would have prevented the spillover danger.


In cases where the Global Attribute Edit function is going to be too far reaching or risky to use, you have a more surgical alternative in the AutoCAD Properties + Quick Select tool. It allows you to filter down to a particular block type in a particular area and change only the attribute value of those blocks that you explicitly select. To use it, do a standard crossing select to include all blocks you want to change a value for. You can include extra objects of any type in the selection, just as long as you don't include any blocks of the type that you are filtering down to that you do not wish to change any attributes for. Once you have your initial selection done, right click your mouse and choose 'Properties' from the context sensitive menu. When the Properties window shows up, select the Quick Select icon to the far right at the top of the Properties window (it shows a mouse pointer, green rectangle, and lightening bolt). The Quick Select dialog will appear for you to specify what you want to filter the selection down to. You will most commonly use the 'Block Reference' item in the 'Object type:' list and then the 'Name' item in the 'Properties:' list. Select the block you wish to filter down to in the 'Value:' list and click OK to change your selection in the drawing to include only these items. Now you can scroll to the bottom of the Properties window and see the attributes list for this block type. By going into any of the attributes and adding/changing/deleting the contents and then exiting out of that attribute you commit the change you made to all selected blocks.

*** Remember you should only make circuiting changes with the DraftLogic Electrical circuiting tools (Circuit Manager, Automated Circuiting, etc). So both the Quick Select and Global Attribute Edit methods of changing attribute values should NOT be used for modifying circuit numbers, or parent panel IDs. Since you need all your 'Unique Name' (aka DESIGNATION) attributes to be unique throughout the drawing, you should also not use these mass change tools on that attribute.
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